Auto giant Stellantis and battery manufacturer LG Chem confirmed yesterday that they will team up to build Canada’s first electric vehicle battery cell manufacturing plant, located in Windsor, Ontario.
This represents one of the biggest auto-sector investments in Canada ever, and it’s fully expected that it will be supplemented by funds from both the federal and Ontario’s provincial governments, the fruit of several months of negotiations between Stellantis and cabinet-level legislators. Ontario Premier Doug Ford wouldn’t put a number on the amount of cash being infused, though he did say that total government investments will be in the “hundreds of millions of dollars.”
Reuters has previously reported that LG planned to invest US $1.5 billion USD in the plant and would own 51 percent of the joint venture; Stellantis would own 49 percent.
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Obviously, this is all good news not only for Stellantis employees who will work at the facility, but for auto workers across Ontario, as the electric models they will increasingly be building will now have a ready source of EV batteries in close proximity. And the automaker is thinking big. Said Mark Stewart, COO of Stellantis for North America, “The facility is quite staggering … about the size of 112 NHL hockey rinks.”
While there was no number advanced for how many batteries the partners expect to build at the facility once it’s up and running, Stewart did say that annual production capacity could attain in excess of 45 gigawatt hours.
The new investment folds into the automaker’s stated goal of having 50 percent of its vehicle production in North America consist of zero-emission vehicles by 2030. It’s expected that construction on the plant will get underway this year, and the first batteries should be built in it sometime in early 2024.